LONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 19 – Michael Schumacher would have been the greatest driver of all time were it not for his insistence that his team-mates play “second fiddle”.
That’s according to the man who gave him his Formula 1 break, Eddie Jordan.
Schumacher made his debut back in 1991 with Jordan Grand Prix, filling in for the imprisoned Bertrand Gachot, before moving onto Benetton, where he won his first two World titles, and then Ferrari.
But by the time he reached the Scuderia in 1996, teaming up with fellow former Jordan driver Eddie Irvine, Schumacher was very much the team’s priority.
So much so that there was a clause in his contracts saying his team-mates would have number two status.
Schumacher went onto add five titles to his tally, making him the sport’s only seven-time World Champion.
However, Jordan feels that was tarnished by that clause.
“Michael Schumacher, I have a little issue with Michael…” Jordan told Off The Ball.
“When I reflect back on all the contracts I had to sign with Ferrari with the great Michael Schumacher, no doubt about his outstanding talent, he lets himself down in one area for me.
“That one area was that in every contract, whether I signed with Irvine, Barrichello or whoever they were – there was a clause there that they always had to play second fiddle to Michael Schumacher.
“I just wish for my own belief… I want him to be the best [driver of all time], but I can’t.
“I just feel, somebody who had the most unbelievable natural talent, in a similar sort of level to [Ayrton] Senna. People had more of a love-affair about Senna because they wanted to believe he was the best.
“Probably Michael was the most talented, but for me the best driver I’ve seen in the thirty or so years I was around the thing was Alain Prost.”
The Ulsterman says he counts Prost as the very best Formula 1 has ever seen.